Argo beats analysts’ estimates
Argo Group International Holdings beat analysts’ estimates as it recorded net income of $41.8 million for the second quarter.
Operating income, which strips out one-off items and changes in the value of investments, was $32.9 million, or 95 cents per share, beating the 91 cents consensus forecast of analysts tracked by Yahoo Finance, but fell 16.7 per cent from 2017’s second quarter.
The Bermudian-based insurer and reinsurer said gross premiums written increased 2.3 per cent for the quarter to $702.8 million, while its combined ratio, the proportion of premium dollars spent on claims and expenses improved by 30 points from the corresponding period a year ago to 96.3 per cent.
Mark Watson, Argo’s chief executive officer, said: “Improved underwriting results in both the second quarter and the first six months of 2018 reflect the continued execution of our business plan.
“In our US operations, gross written premiums were up over 12 per cent in the quarter with continued strong underlying margins.
“In our international operations, we reduced exposure to select risks, and allocated capital and resources where we can earn more attractive returns.
“In addition, we are making progress in our ongoing expense initiatives. The overall expense ratio improved by 1.3 points in the second quarter of 2018 to 37.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, reflecting the streamlining of operations, our digital initiatives and use of technology, all while making continued investments in our strategic growth areas.”
Net income declined to $41.8 million from $46 million in the second quarter of 2017.
Net investment income fell 23.9 per cent to $33.2 million.
During the second quarter, Argo repurchased 29,947 of its own shares for $1.8 million.
The company’s board of directors maintained the quarterly dividend at 27 cents per common share.
Argo also announced the appointment of Thomas Bradley, the former chief financial officer of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, to its board of directors.
Gary Woods, the chairman of Argo, said: “The knowledge he [Mr Bradley] brings to our board of directors and leadership team will be pivotal in assessing and improving Argo Group’s financial structure and performance.”